Donald Trump claims the banks he’s accused of misleading were happy to work with him, and to prove it during the civil fraud trail against him, the former president said he’ll show off in court the awards he got for successful business transactions.
(Bloomberg) — Donald Trump claims the banks he’s accused of misleading were happy to work with him, and to prove it during the civil fraud trail against him, the former president said he’ll show off in court the awards he got for successful business transactions.
“I got plaques and trophies from the institutions in many cases for having done such a good job, which we’re going to be presenting at trial,” Trump told a crowd of reporters during a lunch break of the New York state court trial in Manhattan, which is in its third week. “This is just a railroad job.”
Trump is facing allegations by New York state that he inflated the value of his assets by billions of dollars a year to get better terms on loans and insurance. “Every loan was perfect,” and they were “all paid off,” he said.
— Bloomberg (@business) October 17, 2023
The suit brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James has put Trump’s control of some of his biggest assets is at stake. It’s one of six trials the former president is facing as he seeks reelection in 2024, including in four criminal prosecutions. Trump denies wrongdoing in all of the cases.
“There was no problem,” Trump said. “There’s no victim, except me. I’m the victim here.”
Earlier in the day, Trump said his former lender Deutsche Bank AG was happy to lend him money, and that financial institutions benefited for years from lending hundreds of millions of dollars to his real estate business.
“And we have other executives coming in from banks that will say the same thing,” Trump said, flanked by his lawyers and security staff in front before entering the courtroom. “This is a disgraceful situation.”
The former president isn’t required to attend the civil trial. He unexpectedly showed up during the first three days, using the media attention to deliver pointed attacks on the judge overseeing the case as well as James, a Democrat and frequent Trump critic who filed the suit last year.
Trump resumed his attacks Tuesday, saying the $250 million civil fraud case was a “witch hunt by a radical lunatic.” He also called it a “rigged trial” because his liability will be decided by a judge instead of a jury. The law he’s accused of breaking doesn’t allow for a jury, which is unfair, Trump said.
Read More: Ex-Deutsche Bank Risk Manager Says He Relied on Trump Claims
In his statement, Trump incorrectly claimed that a former Deutsche Bank executive who testified in the trial last week had exonerated him.
“He said that Trump did nothing wrong,” Trump said.
James “Nicholas” Haigh, a former risk manager who had the final say on loans to some of the bank’s wealthiest US clients, testified last week that he “assumed” the financial representations in Trump’s statements were accurate. The former bank official didn’t weigh in on whether he believed Trump had been dishonest, as the state alleges.
Trump on Tuesday reiterated his belief that his net worth was actually much higher than what was on his annual statements of financial condition, the allegedly fraudulent documents at the center of the trial. He’s argued that the Trump “brand” was worth billions of dollars and yet wasn’t included on the document. “Therefore there was no fraud,” he said.
The annual statements were actually “very conservative, and that’s what the banks got.”
During trial testimony Tuesday, a professional appraiser told the judge he was surprised to learn Trump executives had cited him as their “outside” expert in company spreadsheets.
Doug Larson, a former real estate appraiser for Cushman & Wakefield Plc, said he was hired by lenders to place a valuation on some of the former president’s properties. Lawyers for the state displayed spreadsheets in court showing Trump Organization Controller Jeffrey McConney claimed he’d relied upon Larson’s advice to value Trump properties.
“It’s inappropriate and inaccurate,” said Larson, now an executive at Newmark Group Inc. “I should have been told, and an appraisal should have been ordered.”
“I should be in Iowa now,” said Trump, who is campaigning as the Republican frontrunner to return to the White House. “I should be in New Hampshire now.”
Trump also complained about the gag order imposed against him in a separate federal criminal case over election obstruction. A judge in Washington on Monday barred him from making public statements “targeting” prosecutors, court staff or potential witnesses.
“I’m being restricted,” Trump said. “My speech is being taken away from me.”
Read More: Trump Gag Order in DC Case Bars Attacks on Smith, Witnesses
(Updates with detail on today’s testimony.)
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